Otani, are you missing the home run king? 20 Peres hits in the second half of the year, the most home runs by ML catcher ever.
The results of the season’s MVP may have been virtually decided. However, the race for the home run king is not over yet.
Shohei Otani (LA Angels) is on the verge of missing the top spot in home runs that he has been running all season. Salvador Perez’s pursuit of the Kansas City Royals has reached the bottom of his chin.
Perez shot a three-run homer in the first inning at the Chicago White Sox at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City on the 6th (Korea time), leading his team to a 6-0 victory.
Peres, who hit three home runs in two days, recorded 41 home runs, trailing Otani (43).
Until the middle of the season, the competition for home run king was between Otani, Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. (39 Toronto Blue Jays) and Fernando Tartis, Jr. (37 San Diego Padres). Peres, who hit 21 homers in the first half, was not easy, but the trio’s run was as dazzling. It is also true that Peres, a Kansas City member, has less spotlight.
While the three players lost momentum in the second half of the year after finishing the All-Star break, Perez burned even hotter. Perez hit as many as 20 home runs in the second half of the year, including 12 in August. It is twice as many as Otani (10) during the same period. It was two steps ahead of time difference.
If Otani writes a new history of Lee Doryu (Tuta’s parallel), Peres is also challenging a new history of big league catchers. It is not long before the most home runs by a catcher in a single season of Major League Baseball.
With his 41st home run, Perez was already ranked third with Roy Campanella (1953) and Todd Hundley (1996). On top of that, there are only two people, Harvey Lopez (43, 2003) and Johnny Bench (45, 1970). Mike Piazza (40 in 1997 and 1999) has already surpassed the list.
Kaufman Stadium is classified as a pitcher-friendly stadium due to its deep outfield and wide field. At the time of winning the 2015 World Series, Kansas City won the championship with rifle batting, strong bullpen and defense. It is not a favorable environment for orthodox sluggers like Peres.
Kansas City is fourth in the American League Central with 61 wins and 75 losses. The postseason is frustrating, but with 26 games left, Perez’s challenge to become the home run king is possible. Perez also has Jorge Soler (48, 2019), the No. 1 home run player in Kansas City history, in sight.